Status of monument -> National monument
Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 21 to 24 November 2011 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic site of the harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari, Municipality Srebrenica, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument consists of the harem of the mosque with old nišan tombstones.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 13/1 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 522, cadastral municipality Potočari, Municipality Srebrenica, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The mosque now on the site of the mosque in Gornji Potočari, which was destroyed in 1995, has not been built to correspond to the state of the building prior to its destruction and has not been rehabilitated in compliance with the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska nos. 9/02, 70/06 and 64/08) and other current regulations, standards and principles of protection. As a result it does not meet the criteria for designation as a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03) and is therefore not subject to the protection regime prescribed by this Decision,
The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 9/02, 70/06 and 64/08) shall apply to the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of the National Monument.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision, the following measures are hereby prescribed:
- all works are prohibited other than conservation-restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed for the presentation of the monument, with the approval of the ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);
- the original use of the protected site shall not be altered;
- the nišan tombstones shall be documented and a geodetic survey shall be conducted;
- the epigraphic material of the harem shall be documented and extant graves shall be identified;
- damaged nišan tombstones shall be conserved and presented;
- the harem shall be landscaped and damaged nišans shall be repaired;
- the harem shall be surrounded by a fence or wall;
- the relocation of the nišan tombstones is prohibited.
All executive and area development planning acts are hereby revoked to the extent that they are not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant ministry and the heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II – V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.kons.gov.ba)
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Martin Cherry, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, and Ljiljana Ševo.
22 November 2011
Chair of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i o n
I – INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.
On 10 February 2003 the Centre for Islamic Architecture, Sarajevo, submitted a proposal to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to designate the mosque in Gornji Potočari as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Pursuant to the proposal, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the property as a national monument, pursuant to Article V para. 4 of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
Statement of significance
The harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari – which was built in 1970 and rebuilt again after the war – contains about a hundred nišan tombstones, sixteen of which probably date from the early 19th century, most of them without an epitaph. The harems of Srebrenica and the nišan tombstones they contain are of considerable intrinsic value and of powerful symbolic value for the identity of the local community.
II – PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
- data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description. architectural survey and photographs
- an inspection of the condition of the property
- a copy of the cadastral plan
- the Land Register entry
- historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision
Pursuant to Article V para. 2 of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 37 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, before rendering a final decision designating a property as a national monument, the Commission will provide the owner of the proposed monument, the person submitting the petition, the institutions responsible for heritage, professional and academic institutions, experts and scholars, as well as other interested parties, to express their views. Accordingly, the Commission sent letters ref. 07.1-35-427/03-1 of 11 February 2005, 02-35.2-8/11-95 of 28 July 2011, 02-36.1-7/11-82 of 21 July 2011, 06.3-35.2-8/11-219 of 31 October 2011 and 06.3-36.1-7/11-168 of 4 November 2011 requesting documentation and views on the designation of the mosque in Gornji Potočari as a national monument to Srebrenica Municipality, the Centre for Islamic Architecture in Sarajevo, the Board of the Islamic Community of Srebrenica, the Ministry of Regional Planning, Construction and the Environment of Republika Srpska, the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska and the Srebrenica branch of the Department of Geodetics and Proprietary Rights of Republika Srpska.
In response, the Commission received the following documentation:
- letter ref. IO- /05 dated 18 February 2005 from the Board of the Islamic Community of Srebrenica providing information on the mosque in Gornji Potočari
- letter ref. 082-0-RZ-11-000959 dated 28 July 2011 from the Municipal Court in Srebrenica notifying the Commission to Preserve National Monuments that it was unable to provide the data or the Land Register entry without the title deeds of Srebrenica cadastre
- letter ref.07/1.20/624-506/11 of 3 November 2011 from the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska notifying the Commission that the mosque in mosque in Gornji Potočari was not listed as cultural heritage
- under cover of letter ref. 21.42/952-7/11 dated 12 September 2011 the Department of Geodetics and Proprietary Rights of Republika Srpska, Srebrenica branch, supplied the Commission with the title deeds and copies of plans for the 26 mosques in Srebrenica Municipality, including those for the mosque in Gornji Potočari
- under cover of letter ref. SI/11 dated 3 November 2011, the Board of the Islamic Community of Srebrenica supplied details of working projects/designs for new mosques in Srebrenica Municipality, including the mosque in Gornji Potočari(1)
- under cover of letter ref. 082-RZ-11-001432 of 22 December 2011 the Court of First Instance in Srebrenica supplied a copy of the Land Register entry for the harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari is next to the mosque in Gornji Potočari, on the south-west and north-east side.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 13 (old survey), title deed no. 166, Land Register entry no. 522, cadastral municipality Potočari, Municipality Srebrenica, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Srebrenica, a town in north-eastern Bosnia, has been known by a variety of names over the centuries: Domavia, Argentaria, Argentum and Bosnia Argentaria.
The Srebrenica area has been known since Antiquity for silver mining. Nearby, at Gradina in Sase, the remains have been found of the sizeable Roman and Late Antique municipium of Domavia, the centre of the mines administration of the provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia(2).
From the 9th to the 15th century, the Srebrenica region came within the mediaeval župas (counties) of Vratar, Birač, Osat and Trebotić. The earliest reference to Srebrenica in historical sources dates from 1352, as a settlement outside the walls of Srebrenik Fort.
By the first half of the 17th century, Srebrenica had grown rapidly: Evilya Çelebi described it in 1660 as having 800 single- and two-storey houses, solidly built and handsome, six mahalas and six mosques with mihrabs, a tekke, three mektebs (Qur’an schools), a small caravanserai and 70 artisans’ workshops, and a hammam. The only mosque Evliya Çelebi mentions by name is the Bayezid Veli Mosque, which he describes as the main mosque, built in the old style with one minaret and its roof clad with hollow tiles(3). Mujezinović is of the view that this mosque was in Srebrenik Fort, that it was built for the use of the garrison, and that it was the oldest mosque in Srebrenica.
It is not known who built the old mosque in Gornji Potočari and when. This mosque was demolished in 1970 and a new one was built on the site, which in turn was destroyed in 1995.
The new mosque was built in 2005. It measures 10.30 x 13.00 m on the outside, and was built of reinforced concrete elements and concrete blocks. The interior elements (mimber and mahfil) are also of reinforced concrete. The mosque has a hipped roof clad with tiles and a reinforced concrete minaret.
The harem is by the mosque, to the south-west and north-east.
2. Description of the property
The harem by the new mosque in Gornji Potočari contains about a hundred nišan tombstones, mainly modern; the older tombstones date from the early 19th century, and most have no epitaph. The following sixteen nišans have been selected and described on the basis of their appearance(4).
Fourteen nišans may be dated to the 19th century on the basis of their form and decoration. Two others beared dated epitaphs.
Nišan no. 1
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 13x13x83 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 2
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 10x10x50 cm, without epitaph, sunken.
Nišan no. 3
Man’s nišan with pleated turban, measuring 12x12x60 cm, without epitaph, sunken.
Nišan no. 4
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 1.5x11.5x66 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 5
Man’s nišan with pleated turban, measuring 10x10x50 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 6
Man’s nišan with pleated turban, measuring 11x11x70 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 7
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 12x12x55 cm, without epitaph, lying on the ground.
Nišan no. 8
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 12x12x60 cm, without epitaph, broken mudževeza [projecting top part of the turban].
Nišan no. 9
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 1x11x83 cm, broken. A small niche on the right side of the nišan is incised with the name and on the left side is the year.
Ibrahim 1230 (1815).
Nišan no. 10
Nišan with woman’s cap, measuring 12x12x52 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 11
Nišan with woman’s cap, measuring 12x12x80 cm, incised with the year - 1217 (1802/02)
Nišan no. 12
Nišan with woman’s cap, measuring 11x11x60 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 13
Man’s nišan with pleated turban, measuring 12x12x74 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 14
Man’s nišan with pleated turban, measuring 12x12x55 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 15
Man’s nišan with turban, measuring 5x15x57 cm, without epitaph.
Nišan no. 16
Nišan with woman’s cap, measuring 23x20x57 cm, without epitaph.
3. Legal status to date
The property has not been subject to statutory protection(5).
4. Research and conservation-restoration works
There are no details of any conservation-restoration works.
5. Current condition of the property
The mosque in Gornji Potočari was completely destroyed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The findings of an on-site visit on 14 July 2011 are that a new mosque has been built on the site of the destroyed mosque.
The harem of the mosque is fenced. A considerable number of tombstones still survive, though some are leaning off true, overturned or partly sunken.
6. Specific risks
Removal of the old nišans.
III – CONCLUSION
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The Decision was based on the following criteria:
A. Time frame
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
C.i. quality of workmanship
D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)
D.v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period
E. Symbolic value
E.i. ontological value
E.ii. religious value
E.iii. traditional value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
G.i. form and design
G.iv. traditions and techniques
G.v. location and setting
G.vi. spirit and feeling
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- copy of cadastral plan,
- Land Register entry,
- photodocumentation: photographs of the state of the harem and the exterior of the mosque in Gornji Potočari taken in July 2011,
During the procedure to designate the historic site of the harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1975 Handžić, Adem. Tuzla i njena okolina u XIV vijeku (Tuzla and environs in the 16th century). Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1975
1978 Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka. Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države (Urban settlements of the mediaeval Bosnian state). Sarajevo: 1978
1982 Šabanović, Hazim. Bosanski pašaluk (The Bosnian pashaluk). Sarajevo: 1982
1996 Çelebi, Evliya. Putopis, odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travel chronicles, passages on Yugoslav lands). Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, 1996
1998. Mujezinović, Mehmed. Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphs of BiH) bk. III, 3rd ed. Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, Cultural Heritage Series, 1998
1999. Bećirbegović, Madžida. Džamije sa drvenom munarom u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mosques with wooden minarets in BiH). Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, 1999
(1) The designer for the mosques is d.o.o. TEHNO Srebrenica, Hasan Huseinović, BSc.Civ.Eng., the works contractor was d.o.o. “Tokoljak” Srebrenica, and the project was financed by the Board of the Islamic Community of Srebrenica. A building permit was granted.
(2) See decision designating the historic site of the Lower Fort in Srebrenica as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, adopted at the session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments held from 7 to 9 November 2006 (Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 1/10).
(3) Mehmed Mujezinović, op.cit., 1998, 135
(4) In July 2011 orientalist Hazim Numanagić visited the harem of the mosque in Gornji Potočari and identified the nišans.
(5) According to letter ref. 07/1.20/624-506/11 of 3 November 2011 from the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of RS, the property was neither listed nor protected by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of SRBiH.